Welcome to my PME 802 program evaluation design (PED) process. After exploring the Ontario Ministry of Education website for examples, I have decided to evaluate internship programs and the benefits of them to students. My combination of the stream in the Master of Education program (classroom specialist) and my personal interest in inspiring students led me to this evaluation.
Internship programs focus on connecting students with relatable organizations for a set amount of time during their program. The programs are typically implemented by the professor of the course and are coordinated in combination with college administration and interested community partners. With several programs already running internship programs, I believe there will be many resources to tap into.
I want to focus on developing/exploring a solution that optimizes their internship time, maximizes job opportunities and provides a quality internship for the student. Programs that connect college-level students with organizations in the community or beyond the local community and in the field of interest. From the readings and videos, I have discovered there are over 220 options for program evaluation (Guijt, 2013) and I will admit I am still in the process of discovering exactly what stream this would belong to.
The evaluation would also explore whether or not the curriculum supports the internship initiative and builds the necessary skills heading into it. I think there could be many elements to the program evaluation, and perhaps it could be time to start pushing for financial support for students completing internships. When medical residents are completing their internships, they are supported by the government, and it makes me wonder if programs with longer internships should push for some level of support (obviously recognizing the difference between medical residents vs marketing interns, etc).
To summarize, my specific evaluation questions to help guide my evaluation design (to start) are:
- What specific problem does an internship program address?
- What are the overall outcomes, goals, and objectives of the program?
- What are the needs of the target demographic?
- How does an internship program work best?
- What resources would a project like this require?
- What activities would be required to best accomplish this project?
- Would there be financial funding opportunities for students on internship? (Long-term goal)
- Are the time and cost reasonable in relation to the outcome of the program?
Many of these questions were inspired by American University’s website (Peters, n.d.) that outlined several questions in many phases of program evaluation. Struggling to develop my own, I turned to resources that could help guide me.
Turning to my peers and feedback from people of more experience, I am thinking that this is a formative evaluation as it is “concerned with designing and using evaluation to improve a program” (Huey-Tsyh, 2011). My goal is to focus on two of the program stages to begin: initial implementation and outcome. Recognizing the stages are non-linear, I want to explore the outcome of internship programs and make sure that poor implementation does not affect the outcome.
Looking at the four general categories of evaluation strategy, I believe this program evaluation falls under the category of merit assessment. I hope to provide information on the merit of an internship program. It would involve using the performance monitoring strategy to “follow the implementation process and outcomes of a program across time” (Huey-Tsyh, 2011). As suggested by Huey-Tsyh (2011), I would follow the practical taxonomy of evaluation in sequence and would approach the program in a backward reasoning due to the fact such programs already exist.
What about data?
After a quick Google search, I noted there is sufficient data on the impact of internship programs. Much of the search results were also recent. As we learned from the evaluating evidence video, we need to rely on the most current information as data is constantly changing. I plan on using the evidence to show me what is currently going on in the world of internships and explore opportunities for bettering the program.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts! 🙂
Huey-Tsyh, C. (2005). Practical program evaluation: Assessing and improving planning, implementation, and effectiveness (pp. 45-68). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
PACE MySPH. (2012, July 10). Evaluating Evidence [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bD_E6WMYBbA
Peters, B. (n.d.). Asking Program Evaluation Questions. Retrieved from https://programs.online.american.edu/online-graduate-certificates/project-monitoring/resource/asking-program-evaluation-questions